Toward the end of 2015, IK Multimedia released a clip-on microphone/interface specifically made for acoustic guitars. The iRig Acoustic packed an omnidirectional microphone into a pick-shaped enclosure that clipped onto the soundhole of the instrument and paired with the company's AmpliTube Acoustic digital amp and effects app running on a mobile device to offer what was claimed to be ideally-placed, high-end studio mic performance. IK has now married the MEMS-type mic to a portable preamp and digital signal processing unit for the iRig Acoustic Stage package.

IK says that its patented system makes any acoustic guitar sound just like it would if its tones were captured in a traditional recording studio. The pick-shaped microphone is attached to the instrument's soundhole and its cable fed to a box clipped to a belt or guitar strap. Another cable then outputs the preamped and digitally processed signal (at up to 32-bit/48 kHz resolution) to a mixer or acoustic guitar amp.

The box runs on two AA-sized batteries and is said to inject a player's tone with a "vibrant, warm, deep and earthy wood tone" for straight acoustics, or offer substantial tone enhancement for acoustic/electric instruments by routing the pickup signal direct to an auxiliary input and blending with the sound from the MEMS microphone.

Either way, the company says that the Stage box analyzes the incoming signal and builds an "optimum tone profile." Depending on where the instrument is being picked, the player can dial in one of six tone presets to finely tune the sound, comprising natural, warm or bright settings for steel string guitars and the same for nylon string instruments.

The Stage box boasts a built-in digital feedback suppression algorithm to eliminate bothersome whistle and whine you can sometimes get in live settings. A class-compliant USB audio output also allows for direct plug-and-play connection to a computer or mobile device running music production or recording software.

The iRig Acoustic Stage is available now for US$99.99. The product is overviewed in the video below.

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